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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
October 28, 2005

Text of a Letter from the President to the Speaker of the House of Representatives

Dear Mr. Speaker:

The devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina across the Gulf Coast States has required an unprecedented response by Federal, State, and local governments, as well as the private sector. To date, I have signed into law two supplemental appropriations bills totaling $62.3 billion for hurricane-related disaster relief.

To further assist the region in its continued recovery in a fiscally responsible way, I ask the Congress to consider the enclosed reallocation request to provide $17.1 billion in emergency funds for further response and recovery efforts, by reallocating available funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Disaster Relief Fund. I hereby designate this proposal in the amount requested herein as an emergency requirement. This request will provide further assistance to meet the needs of victims, continue the rebuilding and repair of the region's infrastructure, and accelerate the return of Federal agencies to facilities in the region.

To further efforts to offset the unprecedented cost of this disaster and control the growth in discretionary spending, I also will be sending you a separate rescissions proposal reducing funding for lower-priority programs and eliminating excess funds. By holding 2006 nonsecurity discretionary spending below a freeze and achieving additional savings through reconciliation legislation, we will advance our efforts to maintain fiscal discipline while continuing to provide for the needs of hurricane-affected States.

I urge the Congress to act expeditiously on this request to ensure that the Federal response to these disasters continues uninterrupted.

The details of this request are set forth in the enclosed letter from the Director of the Office of Management and Budget.



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